Definition of dice in English:



  • 1A small cube with each side having a different number of spots on it, ranging from one to six, thrown and used in gambling and other games involving chance.

    See also die
    • ‘I still have a huge collection of dice from my gaming days.’
    • ‘She threw the dice, and got two fives and one four.’
    • ‘Hence, the three dice all have the same total face value.’
    • ‘One Mozart manuscript actually includes what might be considered a musical game, though not played with dice.’
    • ‘Gauss's guess was based on throwing a dice with one side marked ‘prime’ and the others all blank.’
    • ‘The upholstery is black, and she has red fuzzy dice hanging from her rearview mirror.’
    • ‘You roll two dice to attack in the game and if you roll doubles, you have to stop!’
    • ‘And they're casting dice, for your future.’
    • ‘How can you load the dice in your favor?’
    • ‘The children roll dice, and, depending on where they land, they have to act out or answer the questions.’
    • ‘He figured out that you didn't really need dice or mathematical models to make a workable baseball role-playing game.’
    • ‘A defender with two or more armies rolls two dice, and one with one army rolls one die.’
    • ‘When was the last time you saw some fluffy dice, or any other strange car accessories?’
    • ‘You rolled the dice and gambled - what have you got to lose?’
    • ‘Cluedo is a game with simple rules, with luck limited to the minor role of the movement of pawns by dice.’
    • ‘However dice are thrown, chance will pull the result in an unexpected way.’
    • ‘When you throw the dice, the odds of any given outcome can be calculated.’
    • ‘At the core of the game is throwing dice on the table for positioning.’
    • ‘If you throw a dice and guess any number between 1 and 6, the chances that your guess will be correct are 1 / 6.’
    • ‘Modern scholarship has not yet established the game for which these dice were used.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]A game played with dice.
      • ‘It was a safe bet that as soon as Max and I were out of sight they would be back to their game of dice.’
      • ‘Police stormed the residence and found 11 enthusiastic people noisily engaged in a rowdy game of dice.’
      • ‘All I can say is that it's like a game of dice; sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.’
      • ‘The emphasis was on the game of dice, which evoked political intrigues beyond the barriers of time and place.’
      • ‘A traditional Inuit game similar to dice is played on a board, using pieces in the shape of miniature people and animals.’
      • ‘He is a simpleton and he loves a game of dice.’
      • ‘So much can turn on a game of dice: kingdoms have been lost, wives gambled away.’
      • ‘‘Life is just one big dice game’ according to Ray Doyle and Kevin Legend, founders of the Dice camp.’
      • ‘I'm also a big fan of Einstein, who said God does not play dice with the universe.’
      • ‘Grinning I stood and walked over to where men were playing a game of dice.’
      • ‘Perform your ablutions, bathe, eat, drink, play dice and other games, sleep - all on the chariot.’
      • ‘Card games, dice and chess were the methods he used to make a living.’
      • ‘Next time, we will turn you over to Nono for a game of dice.’
      • ‘A half-dozen men play dice games while a woman upstage pours and serves their tea.’
      • ‘A second widely held belief is that the phrase comes from the game of dice, suggesting a poor player wasn't any good because his ‘shakes’ were not effective enough.’
      • ‘The definition of statistical independence appears in this book together with many problems with dice and other games.’
      • ‘They have just finished their 12-year exile in the forest after losing the game of dice and are about to enter the phase of having to live in disguise.’
      • ‘When, after political struggles and a decision to divide the kingdom, Yudhihira lays claim to universal kingship, Duryodhana challenges him to a game of dice.’
      • ‘Another origin dates from the time of the Crusaders, who played a game of dice named after their place of encampment, the castle Hasart.’
      • ‘Following his study of the game of dice, he became known as the founder of the theory of probabilistics.’
  • 2Small cubes of food.

    ‘cut the meat into dice’
    • ‘Early settlers, unused to such large marine creatures, cut them into dice called mootjies and simmered them with onions.’
    • ‘Wash, core and cut at least 5 pounds of ripe tomatoes into large dice.’
    • ‘We have changed the approach to incorporate tiny dices of pineapple in a mixture of cucumber and flakes of hot smoked salmon.’


  • 1[no object] Play or gamble with dice.

    • ‘Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,’
    • ‘He looked over at his fellow guards and saw them in the corner, dicing and conversing good-naturedly.’
    • ‘Four years older than John Peter of Bowhay, and seven older than Will, he was a bon vivant fond of dining and dicing: a suitable escort for his country cousins in Europe's most populous city.’
    dice with, court, risk, not be afraid of, treat frivolously, make light of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Take risks with; run the risk of.
      ‘his side continue to dice with disaster’
      ‘you are dicing with an unknown problem’
  • 2[with object] Cut (food or other matter) into small cubes.

    ‘dice the peppers’
    ‘diced onions’
    • ‘When I say to dice the tomato and onion, I mean they should be too small for stir fry, but still big enough to see what they are.’
    • ‘He makes us slice and dice these vegetables over and over.’
    • ‘Remove shank meat from bone and dice; peel veal tongue and thinly slice; remove outer membrane from sweetbreads and dice.’
    • ‘Now just use a spoon to scoop out your sliced or diced avocado.’
    • ‘Here, sweet red peppers are diced and sautéed with onions and garlic, combined with tomatoes and served as a soup with a raft of golden, fried feta cheese.’
    • ‘Blend a six-ounce can of tuna, one diced tomato, one tablespoon of fat-free Italian dressing and one tablespoon of minced green olives.’
    • ‘Chopped / diced vegetables of your choosing (always depends what we have in the fridge).’
    • ‘She went back into the kitchen and watched Skinny dice a potato into a dozen pieces.’
    • ‘Dress the leaves, then add the drained, diced apples, walnuts and crumbled cheese, gently mixing so they are evenly distributed.’
    • ‘Why did I have to dice tomatoes while she easily chopped away on lettuce?’
    • ‘After dicing the carrots, onions, and celery and adding them to the broth of duck, Mr. Bishop set out a bowl and saucer and glass of water when suddenly he was interrupted by a knocking on the door.’
    • ‘While everything cooks, wash and chop the parsley, dice the ham, toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet and chop them roughly.’
    • ‘Cut the cauliflower into small florets and peel and dice the carrots.’
    • ‘I don't want any Jell-O at my wedding, or diced carrots for that matter.’
    • ‘Remove saucepan and throw in chopped parsley & diced tomato, stirring through.’
    • ‘Diced potatoes and onions were then added and cooked some more.’
    • ‘Knives are usually unnecessary at table as meat is diced or sliced in preparation.’
    • ‘In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, small diced carrots, onion, and celery.’
    • ‘Melt fat, dice vegetables and place all ingredients in a wide heavy based saucepan.’
    • ‘Fry over a moderate heat while you peel and finely dice the onions, carrots and celery.’
    chop, cut up, slice, dice, cube, mince
    View synonyms
  • 3Australian informal, dated [with object] Reject or abandon.

    ‘he'd better behave, or I'll dice him’


Historically, dice is the plural of die, but in modern standard English dice is both the singular and the plural: throw the dice could mean a reference to either one or more than one dice


  • dice with death

    • Take serious risks.

      • ‘Men buy Harley Davidson motorbikes and dice with death on the roads.’
      • ‘Skateboarders grabbing on to the back of moving buses are dicing with death.’
      • ‘People who drink alcohol and swim in North Yorkshire's rivers and lakes are dicing with death, police divers have warned.’
      • ‘Pensioners who have to dodge dual-carriage way traffic to catch a bus are dicing with death, a county councillor has claimed.’
      • ‘We're usually taking calculated risks and even dicing with death at times!’
      • ‘Young people do not appreciate that taking Ecstasy is dicing with death.’
      • ‘After the accident last October concern was raised that children as young as nine were dicing with death on the Parkway by playing ‘chicken’ in the fast-moving traffic.’
      • ‘Dozens of youngsters are dicing with death by leaping 80 ft from bridges into the waters of Salford Quays to cool down during the heatwave.’
      • ‘Children are dicing with death hitching rides on the back of moving vehicles.’
      • ‘Speeding motorists on West Yorkshire roads are dicing with death by driving on the wrong side of the road in an attempt to dodge speed cameras instead of slowing down.’
  • no dice

    • informal Used to refuse a request or indicate that there is no chance of success.

      • ‘The district court said no dice, and the D.C. Circuit agreed in an incredibly short (4 pages, including heading material) opinion.’
      • ‘Max kindly but firmly said no dice, the class is full and that's it.’
      • ‘I've tried asking about the pics of kids and animals at the desk; no dice.’
      • ‘Olaf wanted his name taken off the picture afterward, but no dice.’
      • ‘But a little box popped up on screen telling me no dice.’
      • ‘If it is polyester or acetate peau de soie, no dice.’
      • ‘He works with Debbie Harry and I tried to pry some stories about her out of him, but no dice.’
      • ‘He went to his jeep to call his commander, then came back and told me no dice.’
      • ‘Well, DJ wanted an amp, but the one he picked out was $400, so no dice.’
      • ‘He's gotten calls about a potential film adaptation since Ghost World and American Splendor did well, but so far no dice.’
  • roll (or throw) of the dice

    • A risky attempt to do or achieve something.

      ‘the merger was their last roll of the dice, and it failed miserably’
      • ‘Ignoring the strikers on his bench, he threw a centre-half into battle instead in one last desperate roll of the dice.’
      • ‘Still, as with every form of meet-and-greet, it's a roll of the dice whether you'll want to continue past that first date.’
      • ‘Well, it's mainly a roll of the dice, but it's also some sort of instinct.’
      • ‘Back in 1997, when the idea was first mooted, Sex and the City was seen as a roll of the dice for Parker, then heading for her mid-30s. No one expected its enduring popularity.’
      • ‘An extra minutes play was signalled and in one last effort Laois threw their last roll of the dice.’
      • ‘This looks like the last roll of the dice from the political dinosaurs and they just rolled a two.’
      • ‘The reality is that with another loss we won't be able to make the finals this year, so this match really is the last roll of the dice.’
      • ‘For McCain, it would also be the ultimate gamble, an all-or-nothing roll of the dice to determine the last chapter of his political career.’
      • ‘The family have suffered 28 years of false promises and crushed hopes and now April is convinced this appeal is the last roll of the dice.’
      • ‘So why was I about to risk losing everything with one compulsive, libidinous roll of the dice?’


Middle English: from Old French des, plural of de (see die).